Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Collected Novels
Charles Wright


In this incisive, satirical collection of three classic American novels by Charles Wright – hailed by the New York Times as “malevolent, bitter, glittering” – a young, black intellectual from the South struggles to make it in New York City. As fresh and poignant as when originally published in the 1960s and 1970s, The MessengerThe Wig, and Absolutely Nothing to get Alarmed About form Charles Wright’s remarkable New York City trilogy. By turns brutally funny and starkly real, these three autobiographical novels create a memorable portrait of a young, working-class, black intellectual – a man caught between the bohemian elite of Greenwich Village and the dregs of male prostitution and drug abuse. Wright’s fiction is searingly original in bringing to life a special time, a special place, and the remarkable story of a man living in two worlds. This updated edition shines a spotlight once again on this important writer – a writer whose work is so crucial to our times.

This special compilation – The Messenger (1963), The Wig (1966), Absolutely Nothing to Get Alarmed About (1973) – includes a foreword by acclaimed poet and novelist Ishmael Reed, who calls Wright, “Richard Pryor on paper.”

Paperback, 416pp
Harper Perennial, 2019 (1963, 1966, 1973)
ISBN 9780062839602